Ankle sprains can be incredibly frustrating to deal with and can take up to 4 months to completely recover, depending on severity. An ankle sprain is the result of you tearing the ligaments in your ankle due to a sudden, forceful bend or twist. The lateral or outside part of the ankle is where most ankle sprains occur and is one of the more common injuries affecting people today. In your ankle, there are multiple ligaments that connect bones together and tendons which connect muscle to bone. Among these are several commonly sprained ligaments, two of which are the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL), which connects the talus to the fibula on the outside of the ankle, and the calcaneal fibular ligament (CFL), which connects the fibula to the calcaneus. Pain from ankle sprains is usually a sign of an inversion injury, meaning that the foot was forced to bend or roll underneath the ankle or leg. Swelling and bruising will generally occur shortly after the sprain and the patient may be unable to put weight on their foot.
Athletes have some of the highest risk of receiving a sprain injury, such as in basketball, football, soccer, tennis and volleyball where short quick movements, jumping and sudden change in direction are critical to success. Nearly 50% of all athletic related injuries are the result of a sprained ankle, 80% of which are inversion injuries, and takes an average of 6 weeks to heal if a ligament is torn. Unfortunately, people with hindfoot varus and weak muscles are predisposed to ankle sprains and should take extra precautions while performing anything involving legwork. Hindfoot varus is a condition of deformity in the alignment of the ankle and heel, coming down at an angle rather than straight down. People who have experienced severe ankle injuries in the past should also be wary of sustaining further injury.
Given that sprains are one of the most common occurrences in injuries, it can also be easily diagnosed. Normally, you would find that a patient with pain, tenderness and swelling emanating from the outside of the ankle to point towards an inversion injury which also suggests that no bones have been broken. Majority of ankle sprain cases don’t require surgery, even in some severe sprain cases, because ligaments can repair themselves perfectly fine without the aid of surgery. This is where ankle compression socks, sleeves, or braces can come in handy.
Compression is the key that can help control swelling. Compression ankle sleeves promote good blood circulation which helps heal faster. The consistent pressure of the compression ankle sleeve assists the veins in pushing deoxygenated blood back to the heart that increases flow of oxygen-rich blood to working muscles. It also provides support to the damaged tissues surrounding the ankle including the ligaments. Compression ankle sleeves help alleviate the pain from putting weight on the injured foot. It is not only during an ankle injury you should wear compression ankle sleeves, it is also advisable to wear compression ankle sleeves while performing tasks that require a lot of footwork, like in basketball, tennis, soccer and other sports that demand the use your delicate ankle muscles. For individuals who have a history of ankle injury, it is best to wear compression ankle sleeves before participating in physical activities because they are more prone to having another sprain.
Some of the basic features of compression ankle sleeves are to prevent injury and re-injury. Aside from preventing ankle sprains and improving recovery time, compression ankle sleeves have four benefits if worn on a daily basis. Ankle compression sleeves are beneficial to the health because it can alleviate aches and pains. Please note that compression ankle sleeves help relieve pain and swelling, it cannot cure injuries. If the pain or swelling does not go away, it is best to seek help from medical professionals. Ankle compression sleeves help improve performance and balance during physical activities. Since compression sleeves improve blood flow throughout the muscles it will result in a higher rate of oxygen supplied to the muscles which generates more energy. The compression ankle sleeves provide soothing comfort, especially when a person is injured, allowing the patient to relax through the otherwise throbbing pain. Another feature is protection; compression ankle sleeves can protect the ankle from further injury because it stabilizes the foot from external forces. In addition, these ankle socks and sleeves are beneficial to people suffering from plantar fasciitis because it also provides compression in the sole of the foot.
There are many different brands of ankle compression sleeves to choose from and vary in color, design, and overall shape. Always remember when buying garments associated with your health, it is important to look for comfortability. Uncomfortable garments worn on a daily basis are not beneficial towards your health. You may want check out our different types of ankle compression sleeves available in the Doc Miller Compression Shop.
Disclaimer: This article should not be construed as medical advice. Please contact a licensed physician for a proper diagnosis of your specific case.